As we begin a new year, it would be helpful for you to have a month-by-month guide to keeping a thriving garden. Follow this annual gardening calendar for a healthy, vibrant garden.
At the beginning of the year, it’s time to reflect on the previous year’s gardening successes and how you could improve. Have a look around your garden and take note of what’s doing well, what might need to be removed, and what you’d like to add. Draw up a garden layout for any changes that you want to make, specifying plant selections for the upcoming season. Remember to bear in mind your garden conditions (e.g. sunlight and shelter) when choosing new plants.
Here are some specific tasks to do in January:
- Sow seeds indoors for early flowers and vegetables. Click here for a guide to sowing seeds.
- Prune fruit trees, wisteria, and roses.
- Remove dead foliage and debris from the winter.
Moving into February, you’ll need to be keeping an eye on those early seeds you sowed in January. Make sure to check their individual requirements to see how much light and water they need. February is also a good time to check over your garden tools and do any necessary maintenance before you start frequently using them again. Click here for information on taking care of your garden tools.
Here are some specific tasks to do in February:
- Prepare your garden beds by clearing any debris and tending to the soil. For example, add in some compost to improve the health of the soil.
- Clean and fix any garden tools that need it.
- Prune late-flowering shrubs.
- Clean and organise your shed or other garden storage areas.
As the year becomes warmer, March is the perfect time to start directly planting outside and getting your hands dirty.
Here are some specific tasks to do in March:
- Plant summer flowering bulbs.
- Plant vegetables like onions and early potatoes.
- Divide overgrown perennials.
- Start focusing on weed control (e.g. hoeing and mulching) to get them sorted early.
- Protect new spring shoots from slugs by using sharp-textured mulches or crushed eggshells.
This is when it really starts to feel like spring with plenty of flowers and sunny days, along with traditional April showers to fuel your plants’ growth. Make sure you wait until after any late frosts to start growing anything tender outside.
Here are some specific tasks to do in April:
- Transplant your last seedlings outdoors.
- Mulch your plants to keep in April shower moisture and suppress weeds.
- Start planting your summer-flowering bulbs and annuals.
In May, it becomes very important to keep up with regular watering. At this point in the year warmer days are becoming more common than rainy ones, so regular watering will keep your plants happy and healthy.
Here are some specific tasks to do in May:
- Deadhead any wilted flowers to encourage more blooms.
- Fertilise vegetable beds and containers to boost their growth.
- Provide support for tall-growing plants that might start bending or breaking soon.
This is the month of exciting harvests like strawberries and lettuce. As in May, keep up with regular watering to see your garden thriving.
Here are some specific tasks to do in June:
- Harvest early crops.
- Prune early-flowering shrubs after they’ve finished flowering.
- Monitor your garden for signs of pests and weeds, and do any control necessary.
In July, temperatures generally start to climb. This is when it’s most important to deeply water your plants during hot weather. There will also be more crops to harvest throughout the current season.
Here are some specific tasks to do in July:
- Provide shade for your delicate plants during hot weather.
- If possible, move delicate plants to more shady and sheltered areas.
- Continue to fertilise your plants to boost their summer growth.
August is the time to plan for the cooler months of the year. For example, figuring out what you will plant throughout the autumn and how you’ll care for your garden.
Here are some specific tasks to do in August:
- Deadhead spent flowers to encourage longer flowering. Leave any flowers that you want to turn into seed heads.
- Remove any dead or damaged foliage.
- Take cuttings of plants that you’d like to propagate.
- Clean and sanitize pots and containers that you plan to reuse.
This is the perfect time to start visualizing what your autumn garden will look like. Get yourself some late-flowering plants and get ready for the year to start cooling down.
Here are some specific tasks to do in September:
- Plant your autumn-flowering perennials and biennials.
- Start a compost pile with garden debris to prepare for the leaf fall of autumn.
- Collect seeds from any seed heads that have formed for next year’s garden.
- Prepare for upcoming frosts by mulching sensitive plants or bringing them inside.
October is associated with pumpkins and crunchy leaves – this is the time when your garden will start to drop leaves and lose some of its vibrancy. It’s the perfect time to add some colour to your outdoor space.
Here are some specific tasks to do in October:
- Mulch any remaining plants and garden beds.
- Plant spring-flowering bulbs to ensure you’ll have pops of colour in the new year.
- Clean and store garden tools that you won’t use during the winter.
- Consider planting cover crops in your garden beds to improve soil structure and fertility.
Now is the time to settle into your winter prep. Days are getting colder and you won’t be spending as much time in your garden.
Here are some specific tasks to do in November:
- Protect tender plants with horticultural fleece or bring them inside.
- Collect fallen leaves and dead plant material for composting or mulching.
- Plan and design any improvements you want to make to your garden in the new year.
- Invest in some plants with winter colour, like holly.
In the final month of the year, we’re almost ready to start the whole process again. This is the time for rest and reflection.
Here are some specific tasks to do in December:
- Organise your seeds and plants for the next growing season.
- Get some new seeds for the next growing season.
- Enjoy winter colour from violas, cyclamen, or any other winter-flowering plants you like.
Use this guide as your year-round gardening companion to walk you through each month’s tasks. Follow this calendar to nurture a beautiful, bountiful garden.